All of that, of course, is happening within the campaign camps. But when Hillary Clinton is running, something else is also going on parallel to the opposing camps. It is not part and parcel of any opponent's campaign although all benefit. It is independent (lower case "i"), non-aligned, and multi-partisan so the attacks come from every side. It is rooted in the condition known as CDS (Clinton Derangement Syndrome) so the attacks need not be burdened by rationality or reality. Finally, it sexist. Almost nothing the anti-Hillary shadow campaign does or says would be an issue if Hillary Clinton were not the brilliant female human being that she is.
The tandem stories today have to do with her authenticity and her branding.
Let's get the branding out of the way pronto. There has been too much emphasis on Hillary Clinton as a brand since way before she announced. Certainly once she did announce elements within her campaign busied themselves with gussying up a brand for her, but those elements must not really have known Hillary. My experience this cycle has been that some people who have come to her campaign were Obama operatives heretofore and do not know Hillary at all. They are concerned with branding her, with getting a handle on who she is, and are thinking of her as a product they are selling. I am seeing these stories about Hillary being more natural, humorous, spontaneous, etc. etc. all of which is code for human.
Everyone who has met Hillary knows that she is very human. She is an incredible human, but she is a real live flesh and blood person, not a holograph. She does not need a brand because the Hillary you meet on the trail is the actual Hillary. She is attentive, concerned, patient, warm, empathetic, funny, and kind. She loves the little gestures and remarks she encounters from supporters and is spontaneously open to all.
That, friends, is the real Hillary who has always been there, has never been in hiding, needs no "retooling" whatsoever, and is not a package needing a brand.
If you saw her yesterday when she choked up talking about why she is running and her mother as her inspiration, you saw the real Hillary.
If you saw her today badly needing a Hall's mentho-lyptus drop and commenting that Republican histamines are everywhere, you saw the real Hillary.
When you see her tomorrow dancing on the Ellen Show with her little miniature admirer, you will see the real Hillary.
If you think she needs to reinvent herself or has reinvented herself, you have been fooled by the shadow campaign.
When a purported Hillary supporter at Forbes lays out a program for Hillary to make herself "more authentic" I smell a big fat rat. That is no feminist who is ready for a woman president. That is the shadow campaign marketing yet another toxic image of Hillary Clinton while ignoring the flesh and blood woman who misses her mom, is proud of her little granddaughter, and genuinely cares about people.
You want to know who the real Hillary is? It is Hillary that is there! What you see is what you get!
She is not perfect. She is human. She is not cold or distant. She is warm and engaged. And she is not an actress playing a role. She is herself.
Those of us who have long been by her side know this. If you are new to Hillary, by some miracle, watch her. Do not bother reading what the latest shadow campaign spin is. Pay no attention to the media behind the curtain. Just watch her. She taped her appearance with Ellen yesterday. Be sure to watch. She is the real thing!
Here is a little taste.